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Amsterdam Refuses Mosque’s Request to Use Speakers for Adhan

Amsterdam has rejected a plan by a prominent mosque to become the first in the city to broadcast adhan or call to prayer over loudspeakers, saying it is unnecessary in the time of mobile apps, Irish Times reported.

The mayor of the Dutch capital, Femke Halsema, said that given advances in technology, from alarms to apps, it was not necessary to use loudspeakers to remind the faithful when to pray.

The plan to broadcast the adhan has been championed by Yassin Elforkani, the imam at the blue mosque

“The azan can contribute to Islam finally being seen as normal in the Netherlands,” Elforkani said earlier this month.

Adhan in the West

The adhan is the call to announce that it is time for a particular obligatory Salah (ritual prayer).

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Muslims in the West often face hassles in making Adhan for prayer. Local authorities argue that the call would cause noise disturbance to residents.

In April 2013, worshippers at the Fittja mosque in southern Stockholm heard Sweden’s first-ever call to prayer.

Islam is the second-largest religion in the Netherlands, practiced by 4% of the population according to 2010–11 estimates. Most reside in the nation’s four major cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht.

The early history of Islam in the Netherlands dates to the 16th century when a small number of Ottoman traders began settling in the nation’s port cities.

As a result, Amsterdam had its first improvised mosques in the early 17th century.